From the beginning I did not know what to expect. First, the PVP at Carnival tried to get me to switch to another ship out of MIA going to the same ports saying it would be nicer, but since we had never been to Tampa I stuck with my first choice (but I wondered if she knew something I needed to know).
Second, several reviews were not too flattering of the ship and/or service but since we have been on so many cruises I felt that no matter how bad the ship turned out to be, we could adjust and if the food was terrible it was only 7 nites and I could do Pizza and hamburgers for a week if need be.
Third, the very first encounter we had was on the Lido deck with the Steakhouse rep who totally ignored our table when soliciting people to make reservations. Little did he know we had reservations for that night that were made months prior to this sailing. This did not sit well with us so we cancelled the steakhouse reservations feeling if he did not feel the need to ask us if we wanted to make reservations then we did not feel they needed our money. This guy actually went to every table around us but skipped right past us. What is that about. But again maybe he knew something we needed to know. So the tone was set. Or so I thought.
We had a wonderful time and met so many great people and staff that after the first night we had forgotten about all our doubts and fears about this ship.
The room (5181) was great. I selected this room because of reviews I read here about the obstructed balcony and this room in particular. While you did have an obstructive view if looking down, but just sitting on the balcony and looking out at the sea was very relaxing so I felt great.
Our room stewards left nothing to be desired. I met Peter when we first arrived in the room and from then on everything we mentioned was done without asking (extra ice, extra pillows, everything).
Our servers in the MDR were great and every night they remembered my tea without asking. The bar service in the MDR as well as at the piano bar was great and the bartender remembered that I did not want a lot of booze in my drink that I was mostly drinking for the fun of having something in my hand as I listened to the music.
The ship was clean although it is older it was still is in good shape.
Embarkation in Tampa was the fastest I have ever seen but debarkation left a lot to be desired. Hurry up and wait is the best I can say about that.
The ports of call were pretty much the same since I have been there a couple of times before so.....
PORTS: Everything was a bit high priced but what do you expect in the Cayman islands. Belize: The shops here are pretty much the same as you get in any port. Everything is commercialized now. It once was a great port and easy to get around. Now once outside the gates at the port you are pretty much on your own. If you are not on an excursion be careful. Cozumel is a great port. You can walk around or get a taxi to the downtown area or beach and feel safe (within reason that is). Roatan: You must do an excursion here to see all there is close around. There is a beach near that is OK not much else.
BUT all in all the weather (this was the week just after the hurricane passed in Tampa) and the ship were GREAT. The shows were the same as you see on most Carnival ships the comedy was lame but a bit funny.
All in all I will go to Tampa again and I will sail on the Legend but to different ports next time.